A disappointing result for Macclesfield on a bitterly cold Priory Park afternoon when Champions elect – Sale FC – came to town and completed their own ‘double’ over the Blues with a convincing 37-0 victory that put them back on top of Two North following Sedgley Park’s 31-24 victory at Wharfedale on Friday evening which temporarily put them in first place. It is the first time for a while that Macc have been ‘nilled’ but credit to the Sale defence which is by far the meanest at this level for keeping it that way.
The scoreline perhaps flattered Sale a bit as the game was close until just after the interval when the Blues lost a forward to a yellow card during which time the visitors took advantage by scoring two converted tries to put the game out of sight and the Macc heads dropped but all credit to them as they move inevitably to their place in National One next season where, in my view, they will compete well with the best with the facilities at their disposal.
Elsewhere in Two North on what was a ‘catch up’ day Blaydon eased their relegation fears somewhat with a 30-0 bashing of Luctonians who are looking more and more likely to be joining Sheffield in National 3 North next season. Sheffield’s game against Tynedale was again postponed due to the state of the pitch but Otley – who provide the opposition at Priory Park this weekend – had a convincing victory 29-3 over South Leicester in West Yorkshire to keep them just above the dreaded bottom three where Wharfedale replace them after that Friday defeat. Chester thrashed Leicester Lions at Hare Lane by 34-5 to remain just above Macclesfield in mid table with just five more games to be played by Macclesfield until Cricket takes over.
Around Priory Park over the weekend the Lions (2nd XV) travelled to Sedgley Park on Friday and they were rewarded with a convincing 30-15 victory and on Saturday at Priory Park the 3rd XV lost 14-46 to a strong table topping Lymm outfit while the 4th team recorded a good 26-12 victory over Winnington Park’s 3rd XV. I don’t need to add that I have no detail of these games to publish – maybe next season…
Looking around the other leagues promotion/relegation issues you will be by now aware that coming into Two North next season will be Preston Grasshoppers who were confirmed Champions of Three North on Saturday with a 42-26 defeat of Ilkley and Birmingham/Solihull who are likely to move up from National Three Midlands and another club I have a lot of time for – Vale of Lune – look like coming up into Two North and replace Hoppers with a more than convincing 68-21victory at near neighbours of ours -Stockport – on Saturday. Fylde, of course, are coming down to us from National One after a dismal season for them and it will be interesting to see if they can make a quick return there but, as I have previously mentioned, it will give the North West some compelling ‘derbies’ next season in a very competitive league.
Elsewhere in the sporting arena there was a good ‘W’ for the Wire on Friday and our Cricket team are making a decent fist of it in New Zealand as I pen this column. The next couple of days will hopefully see a rare victory in the Southern Hemisphere. Let’s hope and I will simply not even give space to the current state of Australian Cricket!! (No sledging please).
Games for Saturday:-
1st XV v. Otley – Home – 3.pm.
2nd XV v. Fylde – Away
3rd XV v. Stockport 2 – Away
4th XV – Free Week – no game published.
That’s it for now – let us have a good turnout for the Otley game on Saturday.
Enjoy your Rugby – I do,